Technical Expertise and Authenticity Research

Annette Douay, restorer of paintings for more than 30 years, has crossed several thousand paintings throughout her career. Holder of the “Expert: Law and Authenticity of Works of Art” diploma from Panthéon-Sorbonne University Paris II, she brings her experience to a partnership with the Pierre and Marie Curie university laboratory, Paris 4, at the service of institutions and individuals alike.

Thanks to the collaboration with Laboratoire d’Archéologie Moléculaire et Structurale  (LAMS-Paris Sorbonne), the Atelier du Temps Passé is the only restoration workshop in France in partnership with a university laboratory. 

Analysis of the Work 

Technical Imaging (direct and indirect white lights, tangentials, transmissions, microscopic viewing, observation under ultraviolet light, infrared technology, and radiography) completed by scientific imaging (Infrared having a different wavelength and hyperspectral range than X rays) allowing the collection of information concerning the pictorial technique specific to the work and the artist. Utilizing the information gained through these processes, a condition report will be made. 

Complimentary handwritten appraisal (by an international expert).  

Depending on the information provided by the technical and scientific imageries, a technical-scientific file is then created. The results obtained can then be compared with the artist’s iconography in order to verify and establish, if necessary, the a certificate of authenticity for the work analyzed. 

There are multiple roles for an expert: they can be an adviser and can also respond to specific assignments such as:

  • The verification of the attributed artist
  • The work’s state of conservation
  • Damage estimation
  • Estimation sheet for conservation and restoration
  • Ensuring the correct insurance value
  • Drafting the Condition Report before and/or after moving works, etc.

First Appraisal? Make an appointment and meet us…

For the first opinion, Annette Douay gives a personalized consultation. The observation of the work will be made with you, under different lights (white and ultraviolet light, direct and indirect light). This examination will already provide the information required to make an assessment of the constituent materials needed (frames and supports, preparation, pictorial layer, signature, varnish, old restorations, etc.) and the ability to know whether the painting presented has the characteristics of an authentic work. This first expert opinion will last around an hour to an hour and a half, and will costs 180€ ttc.

Example 1: You have inherited a painting attributed to X painter.
Did they actually paint it? What’ its condition? What might be its current value?

Example 2: The piece you plan to buy is presented to you in excellent condition…”Condition report”?
Is this painting really in excellent condition? And is it worth the price?

Example 3: You have a painting signed by “X” Painter…
Is the signature authentic?

Example 4: You are told that the painting you would like to acquire is from the 18th century (or earlier)…
Is that true? Is it from that time? Or more recent?

Example 5: You plan to transfer your assets and you ask about their condition…
Are your assets in good condition? Do the paintings require restoration work? What would be the priorities? What would it cost? Are they kept in the best conditions?

Example 6: You want to check your insurance coverage….
Is your piece adequately insured?

Example 7: You have suffered water damage, fire, vandalism…
What is the damage to your piece(s)? Is a restoration possible? Are the benefits offered by your insurance company properly valued?

Example 8: The piece that was sold to you is not what you expected…
Was the restoration work that was done carried out in accordance with the criteria of professional deontology? Has it been devalued?

All these cases mentioned, and many others, to which the Atelier du Temps Passé will undoubtedly be able to provide an answer…

Real or Fake?

A little preview with Fake or Fortune.